This might be an interesting exercise to keep us engaged this offseason, and I'm somewhat curious what people think.
To start, I'm going with 4 locks in the rotation: Berrios, Gibson, Pineda (though to be fair, he may not be a lock), and Odorizzi. I'm assuming that we aren't going to sign anyone, and I don't think trading one of these guys makes a lot of sense unless it's part of a package to include a clear upgrade or a clear upgrade is signed via FA.
The Twins currently have 11 options available that could be starting for them at some point in 2019. A few of these guys can have a case made for breaking north with them this spring while several will definitely require a bit more seasoning.
Out of options. These guys go north or get cut.
AAA possibilities currently on the 40 man
- Slegers (may be a DFA candidate)
- De Jong (may be a DFA candidate)
Not on the 40 man but close
- Tyler Wells
- Graterol (he may need to be added this offseason, but I'm not sure).
Now to the point. That's a lot of starting pitching with a mix of upsides. I know you can never have enough SP, but at this point, there's a bit of a log jam. There's one free spot this year, and three guys (Gibson, Pineda, and Odorizzi) who are QO/FAs next season, though I could definitely see a case for locking one of them up.
I suspect the 5th starter role will be given to Mejia and May will be in the pen. I'm not sure I agree with that personally (I think he could still start), but that seems to be a minority opinion, and quite frankly if May wants to pitch in the pen, letting him do so is probably good for building that killer pen we all desire. Side note, I consider May/Mejia, Hildy, Reed, and Rodgers to all be locks there, and I think they try and add one more shutdown reliever. So in my world, you have 5 of 7-8 spots locked up in the pen while still needing to figure out what to do with Moya, Busenitz, Magill, Curtiss, Vasquez, and Drake (along with a few 40 man add candidates in the minors), so I don't think you can stash more than maybe one other pitcher in the pen, especially if there are plans for some of these other guys.
That leaves us with a lot of guys with ticking options clock and no realistic means of being the rotation any time soon. I suspect a couple get the DFA hammer, but with 7 guys who should all be in AAA and a couple more getting close to needing adding, I'm wondering if it makes sense to trade one or two of them. Personally, I don't think I'm trading Romero, Thorpe, or Graterol, as they all have way too much upside. The question is if you try and trade one or two of them, and if so, for what?
I don't think guys like Gonsalves, Stewart, or Littell will have a ton of value, but I do think they have some value. Could we, for instance, solve our 2B/SS problem and potentially get a decent player or perhaps a 1B/DH type that is needed and somewhat undervalued? Just curious what/who you'd trade and for what.